Kolkata: Tea exporters on Wednesday said that Iran, a major buyer of the product from the country, was not filling up mandatory proforma meant for purchases as they were waiting for finalisation of a rupee-payment deal.

In the calendar year 2020, Iran imported 26.18 million kilograms of tea from India, which was considerably lower than what the Persian Gulf country had done in 2020 at 33.75 million kilograms.

Secretary-general of Indian Tea Association (ITA) Arijit Raha said, “We are seeing reports that Iran has stopped importing Tea from India. We have informed the Tea Board which is looking into the matter.

“What we gather is that there are some issues relating to the order of registration or invoice which are not being issued by the Iranian importers,” he said.

Sanjay Mukherjee, a tea taster and export marketing consultant, said his Iranian contacts had told him they were delaying purchases.

“They said they have been told that a Rupee-payment deal is being hammered out which will obviate the need to route trade through third countries,” Mukherjee said.

He said that talks were on between the two governments to settle trade in the Indian rupee due to the sanctions against Iran.

Anshuman Kanoria, chairman of Indian Tea Exporters Association (ITEA), said that the organisation is awaiting clarification from the Tea Board in this regard.

No comments were available from Tea Board.

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